Business continuity planning and disaster recovery are not new concepts for most organizations that have come to rely on IT systems to run their business. However, given rules around compliance and the unpredictable nature of our world, large-scale planning has become a higher priority especially in companies that are subject to industry or governmental regulations. In light of that, there are three steps that all organizations can take immediately to ensure they’re prepared.
- Identify and understand your business-critical systems. Understanding and assessing your environment is the first step toward planning for a disaster. You will need to begin by identifying critical servers, business continuity objectives, and mandated requirements.
- Plan for the rapid recovery of business operations following an unplanned outage. Look for a solution that compliments your tape backup strategy by providing immediate failover capabilities. The overall goal is to minimize business disruptions and maintain a high level of confidence in the ability of your firm to resume working in a timely manner. A risk assessment process can help prioritize the most important applications. Create a detailed plan to address the following (but not limited to): Books and records back-up and recovery; Financial and operational assessments; Alternate communications with customers and employees; Business constituent, bank and counter-party impact; Regulatory reporting; and Communications with regulators.
- Maintain a high level of confidence through ongoing use and testing, to ensure critical internal and external continuity plans are effective and compatible. Practice, practice, practice. The top mistake most companies make is creating a plan but not revisiting the crucial steps to make that plan work.